I heard someone say in passing that a child’s father was going to babysit so the mother could run errands. Babysit . . . really? When did the actual parent of a child turn into a babysitter? Not only is this flat-out wrong, but it’s also demeaning. Dads do so much more than babysit.
In my home, babysitters are a necessity. I appreciate the care and attention they give my child. So, I am not knocking babysitters. In fact, I pay them above average wages and try to let them know how much they are appreciated. But babysitters come and go. They work “on call” only when needed and go on about their business.
Dads, on the other hand, real dads don’t babysit their own children. They do what they are supposed to do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Are they perfect? No. But neither is the mother. One thing is for sure, though, a man who takes his role as a father seriously doesn’t wait for a phone call to see when and if he is needed to “watch the kids.” Instead, he takes initiative and plans to be a part of his children’s lives on a daily basis, whether the mother asks him to or not.
I thought about this recently when my husband and daughter’s father gave her a coupon for Christmas. I didn’t know he was going to do it, so I found out when she received the gift: a coupon for a daddy-daughter campout in her room, including Superhero movies, hot chocolate, pillow fights, and more. Sure, she had received clothes, toys, and money for Christmas, but nothing compared to the campout. Think about this: once she grows out of the clothes, gets bored with the toys, and spends all her money, she will still have her experience with her dad during the indoor campout. That’s a gift that keeps on giving.
In general, babysitters don’t give those types of gifts. They can’t make those kind of memories that will help frame her perspective about the type of man she wants in her life when she grows up. Whether it’s campouts, daddy-daughter dates, sports nights, or racing remote control cars together, the role of a father should be held in high esteem because what a real dad does is a result of a higher calling from God.
BMWK – What’s your take on fathers “watching the kids” or babysitting their own children?